Plugins. We use only a few plugins on our site: “Google Analytics for WordPress” and really simple Facebook and Twitter share-button plugins (since human beings are intrinsically wired to share value, it’s important to make your posts easy to share with others). They take just a few seconds (literally a few seconds, it’s just a click of a button) to install once you’ve started your blog. And if you really want to play around with some cool plugins, check out WPBeginner’s Best WordPress Plugins.
The most conventional (and least profitable) method is selling advertising, where you allow companies to promote their products and services to your audience in exchange for a fee. You can also form partnerships with other companies, promoting their products and services and earning a commission each time one of your readers purchases. This is called “affiliate marketing.”
If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a business model where you endorse other people’s products or services in exchange for a commission. On software and information products, affiliates typically earn a 50% commission or sometimes even more, so it can be quite lucrative.
To start with, you will need to login to your blog. Go to http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin to bring up the login screen (replace “yourblog.com” with your domain name). If you are unsure of your login name or password, check the email that was sent to you from BlueHost that has this information.
Before you get started, take some time to check out what vloggers are doing.  Learn what type of equipment they are using, how they are framing their pictures, and how they are connecting with their audience.  Mimic what you like and feels most comfortable to you.
I am very new to all of this and was wondering if you could explain to me how the money is earned? Say for instance I set up a blog and start blogging how do you earn from it and “who” is cutting the checks, and how often are you paid?

Categories are meant for broad grouping of your blogs posts. These are more general topics that can be found throughout your blog. For example, if you have a personal blog that details your life, you may choose categories such as Music, Travel, and Food.
The other major difference is Squarespace isn’t free. It has a number of different packages, but you should expect to spend just under $100 per year for their cheapest plan, which is probably all you need if you’re just getting started.
Jon, you just rock! I agree that you should be called “his Royal Awesomeness” :). This is the greatest post I ever read about blogging and monetizing a blog. I know some bloggers who are able to make a living 20-30k per year with their blogs but it took them years to build a following and thousands of posts too…
Have you tried clearing cookies & cache? Your blog is actually up & running already, but your internet provider haven’t updated your settings. See this guide here: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/how-do-i-clear-my-web-browsers-cache
One of the misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.
In fact, I’d go one step further to say it’s necessary for a blogger to really understand his/her audience and to know what keeps them up at night BEFORE coming up with a product idea that delivers more value than it costs.
I’m sure a lot of people will argue that it is that 5% that makes the difference but I’m not so sure anymore. Be prepared to see a lot more stuff from me this year and expect it to be only half-polished.
That’s just amazing. I never thought there can be a number of options to earn from blogs. I always thought serving ads is the only way. Thanks a lot for changing my mind set. Keep sharing informative articles.
4. Last year your team contacted me and asked if I was intrerested in ghostwriting for one of your clients. I accepted and got my first paid client. In the first month, that assignment paid for your guestblogging course. Wish to be a paid writer? Check.
Thank you very much for such a useful information especially for the newbie blogger like me. I had followed your guide and get the result I wanted. The setup of WordPress in HOSTGATOR recommended by you is simple and easy. I could have my blog instantly setup without any hassle.
You always share valuable messages with your readers, Jon. Sharing your wisdom and what you’ve learned from your experiences is appreciated. I still recall one of your suggestions in your original April 2014 version of this post to begin by offering services. I followed your advice and learned loads of insight from conversations with clients and referral sources. It’s interesting that you mentioned your success with guest webinars in the original post and with hosting webinars on your own site in this post. Hmm… It may be worthwhile to think about growing blogging businesses by speaking more often with your current or potential audience. ~Keri
What a great article sir, the information is well organized and very comprehensive. I can imagine the effort you put into this and especially appreciate you sharing it. Anyone starting a blog should make this their go to place to start.
I know this is a lot of information and I hope it doesn’t overwhelm you! Basically, there are a LOT of ways to earn money from your blog, if that’s something you want to do. Be creative and think of new ways to build on what you’re already doing or interested in. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! 🙂 Do you earn money from your blog? What have been your best strategies?
Reminder: TheMinimalists.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, which means that in addition to using their service, we also receive a referral credit for referring new customers. To be fair, though, we would still use Bluehost even if we weren’t an affiliate. Ergo, we don’t recommend Bluehost just because we’re an affiliate (every hosting company offers a similar affiliate program); we recommend Bluehost because they are the best, most reliable option. Plus, because we’re a partner, Bluehost offers a special price for The Minimalists‘ readers: only $2.95 a month. That’s a phenomenal price.
You’ll need a hosting account too. Usually domain and hosting are bought together. Without a hosting account, you’ll be unable to get your blog online. So when people type in your domain name/blog address, they will see a “page not found”.
You will need an email marketing service to get started. By far the easiest and most reliable that I have found is Constant Contact, which offers a free trial of their services for new bloggers. I have put together a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to use Constant Contact with your blog.
When I first made a blog, I used Tumblr then blogger and now WordPress. For those who want to start their own blog or website but no budget they may use some free platforms like Blogger and Tumblr. You can migrate then once you have budget to WordPress. Love the article about on how to start blogging!
Thanks for sharing all this useful and relevant information Jon. The most interesting and surprising lesson was the one where you mentioned that spending a lot of time on social media outlets doesn’t really help. I also specifically liked how you set the tone about the fact that you’re not just a blogger and that you’re an expert…etc. This is some confidence needed to be successful in anything.
It’s also vital to remember that YouTube is a search engine just like Google and we shouldn’t ignore it. If you create some simple video content to supplement your blog posts you will find that you attract a lot more views and, generally speaking, the stuff you make will appeal to a wider audience.
OK – the first four steps of starting a blog, creating content, finding readers and building engagement with those readers are important foundations that you really do need to get in place before you’ll be able to build long term income for your blog.
I think doing a post on paid ad spend would be killer, I know a lot of blog owners out there like myself who have the budget and have experimented some but just not seeing great results. I’ve used SU paid discovery, and while relatively cheap, I find that most of the traffic doesn’t convert into subscribers or return visitors.
Also, when you post something on the fan page, it will show up as your blog name, not your real name. However, if you are going to visit another page or profile and you want to comment from your blog name instead of your personal profile, you’ll need to go to the top of the screen, click the little gear icon on the blue Facebook bar, and select “Use Facebook as [blog name].” To switch back, go back to the blue bar, click the down arrow on the far right, and choose “Use Facebook as [your name].”